The European Central Bank has withdrawn some 838,000 counterfeit banknotes from circulation, worth around €35m.

This is a significant increase on the year before - mainly due to a surge in fake €20 notes in the second half of 2014, according to the annual report of the ECB.

However, the number of forgeries is only a fraction of the 17,500,000,000 euro banknotes in circulation.

Most of the fakes were €20 and €50 notes. The €20 note accounted for more than half (54.5%) of counterfeit euro withdrawn by the bank, while €50 notes accounted for 29.5% of withdrawals.

The €100 note accounted for 9.4% of the fakes.

The €5 note accounted for just 1.2% of the notes withdrawn by the ECB.  This is less than the very rare €200 note, which accounted for 1.3% of the fakes. The €10 note made up 3.4% of the withdrawn currency and the €500 note accounted for just 0.7% of counterfeit notes withdrawn from circulation.

The worth of the counterfeit banknotes removed from circulation was around €35m.

A new €20 note will be released in November, following on from new €5 and €10 notes already in circulation, both with added security features.

The total number of euro notes in circulation increased by 6% last year, and are worth a combined one trillion euro.

There are 110 billion coins of various denominations in circulation in the euro area, with a combined value of €25bn.

One quarter of all euro banknotes in circulation are held in countries outside the euro area, with the €100, €200 and €500 notes most favoured as a store of value, and as a means of settling high-value bills, according to the annual report of the ECB.

It says net shipments of euro notes by banks to countries outside the euro area amounted to €19bn last year - an increase of 146% on 2013.